We handpicked the products and tools linked in this post. If you buy from one of these affiliate links, we may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Craving a hot comfort food appetizer? This cheesy pepperoni garbage bread is the answer. Gooey cheese and pepperoni is wrapped in homemade pizza dough and baked until melty and golden. Could we ask for more?
Want to see our latest recipes? Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
What is garbage bread?
It's rolled-up pizza dough filled with a variety of ingredients. It's a great way to use up leftover ingredients, hence the name "garbage." The most popular fillings are cheesburger, Philly cheesesteak, and pizza.
How to Shape the Bread
- Roll out the dough to a large rectangle and spread the filling on top.
- Start with the long edge of the rectangle that's closest to you.
- Fold over the long edge by about an inch to start the roll.
- Continue rolling it up as tightly as you can.
- Pinch the seam and ends firmly to keep the filling sealed inside.
At what temperature do you cook garbage bread?
I recommend baking it at 400 F. Hot oven temperatures like this encourage the yeast dough to rise beautifully and brown nicely.
How long do you cook it?
About 25-30 minutes at 400 F is just right. The best way to check to see if it's baked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the center of the loaf; it should read at least 190 F.
Is it similar to a stromboli, calzone, or panzerotti?
It's made with a pizza filling, so it's basically a stromboli. Calzones and panzerotti are shaped more like a turnover. Calzones are baked in the oven, while panzerotti are usually deep fried.
How to Reheat
- Oven: wrap the loaf in foil and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.
- Microwave: microwave individual slices for 40 seconds on high.
- Skillet: throw an individual slice into a skillet over medium heat until warm and melty.
Can you freeze it?
- Yes, you can freeze it, before or after baking.
- Before Baking: let the dough prove the first time, roll it up with the filling, freeze for 10 hours, then wrap in foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then let it do its second prove in a warm place before baking.
- After Baking: let the baked loaf cool completely, then cut in slices for convenience if desired. Place in a freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge or in the microwave.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients: bread flour, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar, and water.
Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir each one in with your finger.
Stir in the sugar and add the olive oil.
Pour in half of the water and stir to form a dough. Gradually add more water and keep mixing until a somewhat sticky dough has formed. You may not need all of the water, depending upon the humidity of the room and the brand of flour used.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth and no longer sticky. Use the windowpane test to check if the dough is kneaded enough. (See the recipe card below for an explanation of this technique.)
Let the dough rise until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, get the pepperoni and tomato sauce, grate the cheese, and chop up some fresh basil (not pictured).
Punch down the dough and roll it out to a large rectangle. Spread the tomato sauce on top, leaving a border of one or two inches. Sprinkle with black pepper and Italian seasoning if desired.
Sprinkle the grated cheese and chopped basil on top.
Top with pepperoni slices.
Roll up from the long edge and pinch the seam and ends to seal. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, trimming off the excess paper.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise until springy to the touch, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes, until the internal temperature is at least 190 F. Let it cool for 40 minutes on a wire rack, then slice and serve.
You can use almost any filling you would like. I prefer pizza toppings inside, but here are some other ideas.
- Cheeseburger: browned hamburger, ketchup, mustard, onions and grated cheddar cheese
- Philly Cheesesteak: thinly sliced beef steak with sautéed onions and provolone
- Sloppy Joe: sloppy Joe filling with extra sharp cheddar
- Loaded Pizza: sausage crumbles, red onion, green pepper, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese
- Muffaletta: olive salad, mortadella, sopressata, and sliced provolone
- Ham and Cheese: sliced honey ham, Dijon mustard, sliced provolone
- Don't use all-purpose flour. It has a lower protein content, which will reduce the rise and chewiness of the dough.
- Need to clean out the fridge? Use whatever you like in the filling.
- Seal the loaf tightly to prevent splits and leakage when it bakes.
- Use a cookie sheet with a rim to catch any leaks as it bakes.
- Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving to allow it to set a little.
- Cookie Sheets: these sturdy cookie sheets are kitchen workhorses for lots of recipes!
- Cutting Board: the spacious dimensions of this cutting board are perfect for rolling out dough.
- Digital Thermometer: don't know when your loaf is baked? Use this handy tool to check.
- Kitchen Scale: weighing flour accurately couldn't be easier with this sleek scale.
- Bread Flour: King Arthur brand is my all-time favorite flour! It's much better quality than other brands.
Other Cheesy Appetizers to Try
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated.Print
Pepperoni garbage bread is an easy game day appetizer recipe that’s made with homemade pizza dough. Lots of gooey mozzarella and cheddar cheese make this the ultimate cheesy football snack for a crowd.
For the Pizza Dough
- 4 ¼ cups bread flour (500g)
- 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
- 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (12g)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
- 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups warm water (300-350 ml)
For the Filling
- 6 ounces pepperoni (170g)
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, grated (130g)
- 1 ½ cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (130g)
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and oregano (227g)
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper or Italian seasoning, to taste
Making the Pizza Dough (25 min + 1 hr proving)
- Mix the dry ingredients. Place the bread flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir each one in with your finger. Mix in the sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients. Pour in the olive oil and half of the water, then begin to mix with your fingers. Keep stirring and crushing the mixture, gradually adding more water as needed, until a somewhat sticky dough has formed. Make sure all of the flour has been picked up from the bottom of the bowl.
- Knead. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until it is very smooth and no longer leaves a sticky residue on your hands or the work surface.
- Check. Use the windowpane test to see if the dough is sufficiently kneaded. Break off a piece and stretch it with your fingers until it's translucent. It should be able to stretch to translucency without breaking; if it breaks, knead for a minute longer and check again.
- Prove. Pour a little olive oil into a mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and turn it in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it prove in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Shaping (25 min + 40 min proving)
- Prepare the filling. Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and refrigerate until needed. Rinse, pat dry, and finely chop a few basil leaves.
- Roll out. Punch down the risen dough to remove the air pockets, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 11x17 inches.
- Add the filling. Spread the dough with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-2 inch border all the way around. Sprinkle with black pepper, Italian seasoning, and chopped fresh basil. Scatter the grated cheeses on top, then lay the pepperoni slices on top.
- Roll into a log. Starting from the long side of the rectangle closest to you, begin rolling the dough into a log. Go slowly and try to keep the roll as tight as possible. Firmly pinch the seam and ends to seal.
- Prove again. Place the log on a rimmed 11x17-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let it prove in a warm place until the dough springs back quickly when prodded with a fingertip, about 40 minutes.
Baking (25 min baking + 40 min cooling)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Start the oven about 10 minutes before the bread is done proving.
- Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes. Watch the loaf as it bakes; some of the cheese may leak out of the bread if it cracks in the oven. Check to see if it's baked by inserting a thermometer into the center of the loaf; it should read at least 190 F.
- Cool, slice, and serve. Let the garbage bread cool for 40 minutes on a wire cooling rack, then slice and serve plain or with marinara dipping sauce. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3-5 days.
- Always use bread flour. All-purpose flour has a lower protein content, which means that the dough won't rise as high or be as chewy.
- Change up the filling as desired. Feel free to use up whatever is in your fridge. Other filling ideas are mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage, or olives.
- Pinch the seam and ends tightly. This will help the filling not to leak out as the loaf bakes.
- Bake it on a rimmed cookie sheet. The bread can crack as it bakes, causing melted cheese and grease to leak out. Using a rimmed baking tray keeps the grease from causing an oven fire.
- Be sure to let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. It's extremely hot inside!
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: bread stuffed with meat and cheese, garbage pizza recipe, garbage bread